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Mt. Balingkilat – Hiking through the hot Mountain of Thunder in Zambales

“It’s not the mountains we conquer, but ourselves.”

Often, Raymart hears that people have “conquered the mountain”. Although there’s a literal truth in this statement, he believes that it is ourselves that we conquer. There’s a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment after we conquered something from within. And mountain hiking is an activity you will absolutely gain satisfaction from. And I definitely agree. And not just in mountain hiking.

In our lives, I believe that mountains represent the obstacles and it’s just waiting to be conquered. You are almost there. You just have to take the first step.

Who is he? 
Raymart has been a fan of hiking for a few years now. He continuously enjoys the adventures of hiking through the mountains here in the Philippines. There are many mountains he hiked, but today, we will talk about Mt. Balingkilat, known as the “Mountain of Thunder” in Zambales.

Credits to: Raymart Manguiat

Going to Mt. Balingkilat

Hearing that this is a major hike, Raymart gladly took the challenge in this trip. He is not competing with other hikers. Hiking is just something he learned to love the first time he tried it. And now, he is in the quest to enjoy life at its fullest.

For 12 hours, he, his hiking buddy and his new-found hikers did this traverse . At first, there’s a feeling of newness in this trail but it is okay. He did not have any expectations. A spontaneous hike is much better than preparing for it. Although, other hikers might disagree with this, I can see that he meant well. There’s a feeling of surprise and excitement when you don’t know what you are getting into. On the other hand, he ensures that he is prepared for the weather and the temperature for their trip.

Credits to the Owner: Jay-R

Morning

At 12:30 AM, they were already on their way to Sitio Cawag. They all met in Pasay and started their journey.

5:30AM – arrival in Subic. It was a stopover. It’s a  good chance to buy some stuff for the camping. They bought rice, water, and a cook set. Arriving in Subic,  registering their names at the Police Station is a must. And they only had to pay Php 20 for the registration.

8:00 AM – Orientation

8:30 AM – They are in the Jumpoff section, it is where they will start the hiking trail. At first, you’d have to walk into the meadows but as you go along, it won’t be a problem anymore. The good thing about this is you have a guide with you. This guide is not only helping you reach your destination but he helps you carry some of your bags. He is the porter.

It took them about an hour to cross this meadow. Soon enough, they were already on the flat surface. They crossed a dried-up river. Despite the fun, the excruciating heat caused by the lack of trees makes it extra difficult.

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Credits to the Owner: Waki

Lunch

10:00 AM – Early Lunch – Fortunately, they found this “Kawayanan” or a small spot with bamboos. It gave them the shade they needed.

11:30 AM – Started hiking again. Along the way, they bumped into another set of hikers who are om their way back because the trail is getting steeper and hotter.

Surely, the hiking trail is rocky. The rocks are small but it didn’t make the hiking easier. Every time they see a tree, they  rest. It was getting more challenging by the hour, but they kept hiking.They reached the 90 degree assault. Wait, what? Don’t worry.  This has nothing to do with killing! I also did not know about this term until I encountered it today. So this is an inside corner of a rock, with a 90-degree angle that allows you to challenge your creativity and quick-thinking since it requires you to climb and get over this rock in this crazy angle.

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Credits to the owner of the Photo: Ms. Ever

Summit

They reached the summit at 3 PM. There’s a surfing board-like rock that served as a platform for those who wants to take a picture of their hiking success. But, be careful! It’s a cliff.

This is like a magic cliff though. The hiking trail might be a tremendous challenge for starters, but the moment you reached the summit, all you see is beauty. All your pain will just fade away.

It was the greatest moment.

Soon, it was almost sunset. At 6pm, they stopped caring about the hiking trail. They were walking quickly down the path, and it’s getting dangerous. It was getting dark. It was getting interesting though. One new member appeared in the trail. A woman dressed in white. Not everybody saw it, but it’s a good thing that somebody is there to guide them. She doesn’t want to be talked about,  if you see her in your hike, just ignore her and go on with your trail.

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Credits to: Ever Tucay for this breathtaking photo of Nagsasa Cove

They are almost home at 8PM. You’ll know when you are close when you feel the trail getting more sandy. You will surely enjoy the beauty of Nagsasa Cove and its breathtaking views after your day hike.

So, what’s your advice to aspiring hikers?

  • Do not be overconfident. Not all mountains are the same. Don’t underestimate the difficulty it brings. Hiking is not as easy as it seems.
  • Do not bring too much. The lesser, the better.
  • Enjoy the experience. Have fun.
  • Motivate yourself. Have your own goal and keep that in mind.
  • Do not expect too much.
  • Most importantly, don’t leave a trace. “Wag magkakalat.” Take care of the environment. If you see some trash, take that chance and pick it up.

Great! Thank you very much for sharing your hiking experience Mart! I would also like to thank Bhong for an awesome DIY hike. Thank your for the whole team and the contributors for the amazing photos. 🙂

If you have more tips in hiking, feel free to comment below.

Thank you!

 

 

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